FCC chairman speaks at length on additional spectrum at CES

NEW DELHI: The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas on Friday witnessed FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in discussion with CEA president Gary Shapiro. They discussed everything from spectrum and the FCC‘s role in dealing with new technologies to assistive technology and the former’s legacy.

In a speech before the sit-down, the FCC chairman spoke at length about the need for additional spectrum and incentive auctions to get that accomplished.
Asked to speak on the spectrum issue, Genachowski insisted that this was an issue that could be solved quickly. "We could be in a position – if Congress asks – to auction this spectrum in the next year or two and put the spectrum on the market," he said. "That‘s the pace at which we need to move, given the incredible demand [for] spectrum."

Incentive auctions would allow TV broadcasters to sell unused spectrum that would be used for mobile broadband purposes. Congress, however, has to authorise the FCC to proceed with those auctions.

Without additional spectrum, US global competitiveness is at risk, Genachowski said. "It‘s clear now that … our success depends on having a robust, vibrant, world-class digital infrastructure – wired and wireless." 
The auctions should not be viewed as a punishment for broadcasters. "It‘s just we have a disruptive, new technology in the market that we have to take advantage of for our economy," Genachowski observed.

Genachowski maintained that it was the FCC‘s core mission to do "everything we can to make sure we have [an eco-system] that‘s competitive and conducive to the greatest possible innovation."

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